Monday will be the start of a big two day stretch for the Tar Heels on the recruiting trail, as the first of two 4✮ in-state targets along the defensive front will announce their college destination.
2023 4✮ EDGE Rico Walker from Hickory, NC will be the first to go off the board. As Adam Friedman of Rivals reported on Friday, the No. 23 EDGE in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite player rankings will announce at 4:00 PM EST on Monday where he will be playing his college football. His decision will come down to the top five that he revealed back on July 1st which consists of Carolina, Auburn, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee.
The Tar Heels have been the long-standing favorite for him since they offered back in the summer of 2020 and it appears that heading in, they are still in that same position for him. Tennessee has always been seen as the biggest threat in this race, but the fact that he did not take an official visit there during the last open period makes it hard to believe that they will be the selection. The only other spot that Walker took an official visit to besides Chapel Hill in the month of June was Maryland, but that doesn’t appear to be one that has made any sort of major impact on his decision since.
The recruiting analysts see the Tar Heels as the favorites heading in, as well. Both Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports and Adam Friedman of Rivals have cast predictions in favor of the Tar Heels, but none have come in the month of July. The good news is that Wiltfong’s crystal ball came during Walker’s official visit back on June 24th and would indicate that the Tar Heels were able to seal the deal on their official visit.
This commitment seems to be the Tar Heels’ to lose at this point. Barring the team not having room for him on their board, which doesn’t seem to be the case right now, the team will start the week off by locking down another one of the top players in the state in this cycle.
Prediction: North Carolina